February 25, 2000

Month of events aims to increase Brain Awareness

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Dr. Raymond DuBois

Month of events aims to increase Brain Awareness

A month-long series of events highlighting the human brain kicks off at Vanderbilt next week. The events, sponsored by the Vanderbilt Brain Institute and the Cumberland Science Museum, are part of a national program called Brain Awareness.

The program was established in 1996 by the Society for Neuroscience, an international community of 25,000 brain researchers, and the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting public understanding of brain function. The goal of Brain Awareness is to educate the general public about how the brain works and the importance of brain research in understanding, treating, and ultimately curing brain-related diseases.

All Brain Awareness events are free and open to the public. For programs at the Cumberland Science Museum, call 401-5101 to reserve seats. For more information, call the Vanderbilt Brain Institute at 936-2637 or visit the website www.vandybrain.org.

Upcoming events include:

• February 29 "Love Among the Neurons: The Biological Basis of Monogamy" — Dr. Thomas Insel of Emory University will discuss the role of hormones and the brain in social attachment, reproductive behavior, and aggression. Keynote address 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., Sarratt Cinema; reception 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., Wilson Hall Lobby.

• March 2 "Building a Better Brain: New Directions for Brain Cell Migration" — Dr. Mary Elizabeth Hatten of The Rockefeller University will talk about how genes regulate brain development. 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., 202 Light Hall.

• March 4 "Brain Blast" — Enjoy a variety of brain games, mind games, and hands-on activities led by Vanderbilt Neuroscience undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Cumberland Science Museum.

• March 8 "Minds in Overdrive: Anxiety and Panic Disorders" — These disorders affect more than 23 million people in the United States; learn about how they arise and recent progress made in treating them. Elaine Sanders-Bush, Ph.D., director of the Vanderbilt Brain Institute, and Dr. Richard Shelton, associate professor of Psychiatry. 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Cumberland Science Museum.

• March 14 "Sleepy Heads: How the Brain Regulates Sleep," — The program will examine what research is revealing about the relationship between the brain, sleep, and sleep disorders. Dr. James Sheller, director of the Vanderbilt Sleep Laboratory, and Dr. Adrian Morrison, Laboratory for Study of the Brain in Sleep at the University of Pennsylvania. 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Cumberland Science Museum.

• March 22 "Sci-Fi Minds: What Science Fiction Teaches Us About Science Facts, Lessons from Star Trek" — Dr. Randolph Blake, professor of Psychology at Vanderbilt and co-author of Star Trek on the Brain: Alien Minds, Human Minds, will describe what science fiction can teach us about how brains work. Breakfast 7:30 a.m., presentation 7:45 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. presentation, 204 MRL Building.

• March 23 "A Brain on the Go: Biological Dimensions of ADHD" — The program will focus on how brain research and clinical interventions are improving understanding and treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Dr. Mark Wolraich, director of the Vanderbilt Child Development Center, and Dr. Marc Caron from Duke University. 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Cumberland Science Museum.

• March 30 "Quieting the Storm: Pain Processing in the Brain" — The program will explore how pain is processed and how it can be controlled. Dr. Ronald Wiley and Dr. Michael McLean, from the department of Neurology at Vanderbilt, and Dr. Kenneth Casey, from the department of Neurology at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Ann Arbor. 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Cumberland Science Museum.